Offshore Tax Evasions – Australians under Investigation
The ATO has advised that the J5 Countries namely Australia, UK, USA, Canada & the Netherlands conducted a globally coordinated day of action against an international financial institution located in Central America suspected of facilitating offshore tax evasion. Significant information was obtained as a result and the investigation is on-going.
The ATO also confirmed that several hundreds of Australians are suspected of participating in these arrangements and multiple investigations are initiated with the support of the ‘Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)’.

Bushfire related Payments/Grants & Other Support
The Federal Government announced that it will enact legislation to provide tax exemption on the disaster relief payments received by Individuals & Businesses under ‘Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements’.

Further Extension & Remission of Interest/Penalties
The ATO has announced an extension of tax assistance for Individuals & Businesses affected by the Bushfire in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania & Victoria thereby extending the due date of payment/lodgement of Income Tax Returns & Activity Statements to 28th May 2020.
In addition to the above, the ATO will also initiate the remission of any Interest/Penalties applied to tax debts since the start of the bushfire and will defer any debt recovery proceedings till 28th May 2020.

Superannuation Guarantee – Salary Sacrifice Integrity
The Federal Government has reminded that effective from 1st January 2020, employers can no longer reduce their Superannuation Guarantee Contributions by taking into account the amount of salaries sacrificed by their employees. In simple context, the base amount on which Superannuation Guarantee is applied will no longer be reduced by the salaries sacrificed.
The above measure will increase the superannuation savings of the people who utilize these arrangements.

Life Insurance within Superannuation
Effective from 1st April 2020, members of a Superannuation Fund with balances below $6,000 or under the age of 25 years will have to opt–in to be given or maintain a default Life Insurance Policy.
A specific exclusion from opt-in policy is being enacted for members employed in emergency services and in top 20 riskiest occupations.

GST – Car Expenses – Extent of Creditable Amount
The two methods used to claim the Car Expenses are the Cents per Kilometre method & and the Log Book method. Either of the methods can be used and there is no requirement for the GST claim to correspond to the adopted method.
While the Cents per Kilometre restricts the expense claim to the first 5,000 KMs for tax purpose, there is no restriction on the GST claim on the expenses incurred provided the records are sufficient to show the fairness and reasonable approximation of the actual use of the car.

Removal of CGT Main Residence Exemption to Non – Residents
The legislative amendments to remove the CGT Main Residence Exemption to Non – Residents have now become law.
This measure will deny the benefit of Main Residence Exemption to Non – Residents except in the case of terminal illness, death or divorce, where they occur within six years of the Individual becoming the Non – Resident.

Prepared by
Sai Kalyanaraman
Geetha Srikanth